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Won't Start.... HELP!!! - Solved (might be done, know more tomorrow)

engine spark plugs spark plug wires

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#1 madmanperez

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 01:02 PM

Swapped out plugs and wires (spark plug wires) and now she won't start.

Swapped out wires cause she was running rough, one of the wires came loose and would not re-engage. Same time decided since I'm putting in new wires' I should change the plugs as well.

That's when it all hit the crapper. Crank no start.

Edited by madmanperez, 20 October 2018 - 03:36 PM.






#2 Sl1m1

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 01:58 PM

Check firing order is correct.

#3 markhansenconquest

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 10:15 PM

make sure it getting spark ....................

#4 croquest87

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 10:39 PM

There are numbers on your distributor.1234
Follow each wire  1= cylinder  one.      
2 =cylinder 2. 3=cylinder 3  4= cylinder four
Hole in the middle on distributor goes to ignition coil.
Make sure all wires click and are connected nice and snug when you push them in.

Also important for performance  plug gap around .036

Check for spark as stated above.

If no spark?
Ignition coil check
Knock box is also suspect especially if 87 and down.
Hope this helps.

Edited by croquest87, 10 September 2018 - 05:49 AM.


#5 apate

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 01:08 PM

A quick check
When you crank the motor over watch the tach
If the needle is not bouncing
Probably Knock box or loose connection

Edited by apate, 10 September 2018 - 01:08 PM.


#6 croquest87

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 02:34 PM

I would also do compression test just to eliminate that that part out of trouble shooting. If that's good? Injector clips should be next on the list of troubleshooting. Just because you said it was running rough before you swapped out wires.   In my opinion it makes no sense to troubleshoot any engine unless you confirm good compression you could be chasing your tail all over.

Edited by croquest87, 10 September 2018 - 02:37 PM.


#7 madmanperez

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 05:29 PM

Thanks for all the info guys.

Noid light shows no output at the injector clips.

Coil sparks, Spark plugs wiring spark, firing order good.

Checking wiring, the injector clips wires are very brittle. have cut out about 6" and put in new clips about 2 years ago.

#8 madmanperez

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:27 PM

FSM says knockbox and/or ECU. I have a spare ECU, its either newer or older not sure. Mine is a single layer PCB where the spare has what I call a daughter board (old saying from my electronic days) different orientation also had to swap the guts so it would mount in my car.

Car started and  ran fine for a few days then it started it to hiccup like it did before the non-start problem. I have a newer knockbox/igniter on the way. Are the metal ones plug and play or do i have to do some re-wiring?

#9 tux

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 10:37 PM

You need to rewire, unfortunately

#10 croquest87

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 02:06 AM

You can always get pigtail and rewire.Very nice upgrade along w 88-89 ecu upgrade

#11 creakyjoints

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 11:18 AM

Check injector wires at ecu with noid. Does tach bounce when cranking?
the dude in the honda said, i thought you said your car was slow, my response was.. well you said yours was fast so i guess we both lied.. haha

#12 madmanperez

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 07:06 PM

New knockbox/igniter has been received. Came with a piece of wire from its donor car harness. Lucky me! The car is in the shop with A/C issue. Can't catch a break. When I get it back I will splice in the replacement knockbox/igniter.

Does anyone know how to tie this in there seems to be a difference in the wiring? I can cut and splice just need to know which wire goes where.

Thanks as always

#13 Turbo Cary

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 05:59 AM

View Postmadmanperez, on 22 September 2018 - 07:06 PM, said:

New knockbox/igniter has been received. Came with a piece of wire from its donor car harness. Lucky me! The car is in the shop with A/C issue. Can't catch a break. When I get it back I will splice in the replacement knockbox/igniter.

Does anyone know how to tie this in there seems to be a difference in the wiring? I can cut and splice just need to know which wire goes where.

Thanks as always

When putting an 88/89 knock box into an earlier model, there are only two wires not used. The others pretty much go to the same locations. The two unused wires are for waste gate control I believe.

#14 madmanperez

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 11:09 AM

Turbo Cary: Thanks I hope to get the car back soon so I can install the dammed thing, before it rots like the rest of the car LOL

What do I do with the unused wires? Cap off or strap together?

#15 Turbo Cary

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 05:19 AM

View Postmadmanperez, on 25 September 2018 - 11:09 AM, said:

Turbo Cary: Thanks I hope to get the car back soon so I can install the dammed thing, before it rots like the rest of the car LOL

What do I do with the unused wires? Cap off or strap together?

Cap off. They aren't used. There is a write up on here about what wires to connect.

http://www.starquest...showtopic=38951

Edited by Turbo Cary, 27 September 2018 - 05:32 AM.


#16 madmanperez

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:46 PM

Installed new knockbox. Car runs fine. Except, car has a slight stutter at 1.5k to 2k (smooths out above 2k) when cold, never did that before. Stutter not present when warm. New symptom, not sure what might be the cause for this.

#17 Turbo Cary

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 01:46 PM

View Postmadmanperez, on 09 October 2018 - 05:46 PM, said:

Installed new knockbox. Car runs fine. Except, car has a slight stutter at 1.5k to 2k (smooths out above 2k) when cold, never did that before. Stutter not present when warm. New symptom, not sure what might be the cause for this.

Did you solder all connections for your new box? Also perform the TPS reset again and see if the results change.

#18 importwarrior

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 05:06 PM

Vac advance?

Perform a vacuum suck test on it.

B-71 87 TSI ~ RIP

Black 87 Starion ~ Mess SOLD!!!

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#19 madmanperez

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 04:49 PM

Turbo cary: connections are crimped. Too many opinions crimped vs. soldered. In this instance crimping was the easiest to do. Have never done a TPS reset.

Imporwarrior: vac advance is working (new unit installed about a year ago trying to chase down a boost issue) as the stutter (possible miss fire, feels like) only happens on slow speeds. 1st or 2nd gear 1.5 to 2k rpm. Smooths out at hire/faster speeds and under load (boosts).

#20 Turbo Cary

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 02:58 PM

View Postmadmanperez, on 11 October 2018 - 04:49 PM, said:

Turbo cary: connections are crimped. Too many opinions crimped vs. soldered. In this instance crimping was the easiest to do. Have never done a TPS reset.

Many will argue that crimped is ok and I'm on the side of solder. Both are ok however I try to view it as what the circuit is designed for. ECU, Air Bag wires, Data communication circuits should all be soldered. Resistance causes skewed sensor readings and faulty codes.

I have seen a number of old distributors for these cars have a oil soaked pick up wires. Is it critical to replace it? Well no but getting fresh wires with non brittle insulation and clean soldered spades installed will help. At the least you can have the peace of mind knowing that the harness which sends RPM info to your ECU is good.

The TPS reset is a critical setup procedure for these cars. Your whole engine operation depends on it having a proper reading. It is easy to do. The only problems come from faulty TPS sensors that can't obtain the correct reading. It should be between 0.48-0.52 volts with the throttle closed, ideal is 0.50 Volts.

There is a mazda TPS replacement kit. If you dont have it, buy it while it is available. Hands down it is a great replacement. Your whole throttle issue could be because the TPS has a dead spot or isn't calibrated right. Check all your ECU/body grounds as well.





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